the role of project management in achieving project's success

Topics: Project management, Project, Construction Pages: 7 (6130 words) Published: September 23, 2014
International Journal of Project Management Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 81-87, 1996 Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd and IPMA
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The role of project management in
achieving project success
A K Munns and B F Bjeirmi
University of Dundee, Department of Civil Engineering, Dundee, Scotland DD1 4HN, UK

The role of different project management techniques to implement projects successfully has been widely established in areas such as the planning and control of time, cost and quality. In spite of this the distinction between the project and project management is less than precise. This paper aims to identify the overlap between the definition of the project and project management and to discuss how the confusion between the two may affect their relationship. It identifies the different individuals involved on the project and project management, together with their objectives, expectations and influences. It demonstrates how a better appreciation of the distinction between the two will bring a higher possibility of project success. Copyright © Elsevier Science Ltd and IPMA

Keywords: projects, project management, success, failure, evaluation

It has been recognised over the last 30 years that project
management is an efficient tool to handle novel or complex
activities. Avots ~ has suggested that it is more efficient
than traditional methods of management, such as the practice of functional divisions in a formal hierarchical organisation, for handling such situations. The process of bringing new projects on stream and into the market imposes

demands on established organisations and necessitates
different management techniques from those required to
maintain day-to-day operations. In such circumstances,
where companies have a finite, unique and unfamiliar undertaking, the techniques of project management can be successfully implemented. These undertakings would call
for more and faster decision making techniques than
possible in a normal operation and making the right choices
will be critical to company success.
The use of project management has become associated
with such novel complex problems, which are inevitably
called a project. Consequently the success of project management has often been associated with the final outcome of the project. Over time it has been shown that project
management and project success are not necessarily
directly related. The objectives of both project management
and the project are different and the control of time, cost
and progress, which are often the project management
objectives, should not be confused with measuring project
success. Also, experience has shown that it is possible to
achieve a successful project even when management has
failed and vice versa (see, for example, Wit2). There are
many examples of projects which were relatively successful
despite not being completed on time, or being over budget,
e.g. the Thames Barrier, the Fulmar North Sea oil project

or Concorde, all of which turned out to be relative successes, even though the project control aspect of them failed. It can therefore be argued that the relationship between the two is less dependent than was first assumed, and in order

to measure project success a distinction should be made
between the success of a project and the success of the
project management activity.
This paper attempts to provide a logic for the distinction
between project management and the project. Starting from
a definition of the two terms, it will outline the factors
which affect their success, the individuals involved and
their respective orientations and the relationship between
these elements. It also discusses the implications of the
situation where the project fails but the project management process is perceived to have succeeded or vice versa.

Definitions
In order to distinguish between the...

References: 1 Avots, I 'Why does project management fail? ' California Management
Review 12 (1969) 77-82
2 Wit, A D 'Measurement of project success ' Project Management
6 (3) (1988) 164-170
3 Kerzner, H Project management.., a systems approach to planning,
scheduling, and controlling Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (1989)
4 Cash, H and Fox, R 'Elements of successful project management ' J
Systems Management (1992) 10-12
5 Baker, B N, Fisher, D and Murphy, D C Factors affecting project
success National Technical Information Services, N-74-30092 (September 1974)
projects National Technical Information Services, N-74-30092
(September 1974)
7 Kumar, D 'Developing strategies and philosophies early for successful project implementation ' Project Management 7 (3) (1989)
164-171
(September 1986)
9 Duncan, G L and Gorsha, R A 'Project management: A major factor
in project success ' IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and
System 102 (11) (1983) 3701-3705
about project management ' Sloan Management Review Summer
(1988)
12 Posner, B Z 'What it takes to be a good project manager ' Project
Management Journal 28 (1) (1987) 51-54
of the lOth INTERNET World Congress on Project Management
1 (1990)
14 Nicholas, J M 'Successful project management: a force-field analysis '
J System Management January (1989) 24-30
15 Oakland, J S Total Quality Management Heinemann, Oxford (1989)
87
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